Thirty-one preterm newborns were successfully relocated from Gaza’s main hospital to another in the south on Sunday and would be transferred to Egypt, according to health authorities, as hundreds of other severely injured patients remained stuck there days after Israeli soldiers raided the site, news agency AP reported. The situation of the infants at Shifa Hospital drew worldwide attention following the revelation of photographs showing physicians attempting to keep them warm. As Israeli soldiers fought Palestinian terrorists outside the hospital, a power outage knocked down incubators and other equipment, and food, water, and medical supplies ran short.
The World Health Organization’s chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on social media that the “very sick” newborns, as well as six health professionals and ten staff family members, had been evacuated. He stated that they were transferred to a hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah for urgent care.
A WHO delegation that visited the hospital on Saturday reported that 291 people, including newborns, trauma patients with highly infected wounds, and others with spinal injuries who are unable to walk, were still there.
According to the WHO, around 2,500 displaced individuals, mobile patients, and medical personnel fled Shifa Hospital on Saturday morning. It was reported that 25 medical personnel, in addition to the patients, stayed.
“Patients and health staff with whom they spoke were terrified for their safety and health, and pleaded for evacuation,” the agency was quoted by AP in its report.
Israel has long claimed that Hamas has a vast command centre inside and beneath Shifa, as part of a broader claim that the combatants employ residents as cover. Following the terrorist group’s wide-ranging invasion into southern Israel six weeks ago, which killed over 1,200 people and prompted the conflict, it has positioned the hospital as a vital target in its fight to destroy Hamas’ authority in Gaza.
The charges are denied by Hamas and medical workers, and opponents point to the hospital as an example of Israel’s irresponsible endangering of people. Thousands have been murdered in Israeli attacks, and the besieged enclave is suffering from acute food, water, medication, and gasoline shortages.